The secret to turning your distractions into unstoppable creativity may surprise you. It may make you happier, too.
Do you notice, well, everything? Are you inexplicably drawn to one thing, then led to another? Do you feel at times scattered and unproductive?
This is the Plight and Power of the Attuned Creative
If this is you, you're in good company. These traits are seen in extremely creative people, and on the challenging side, sometimes those of us with ADHD. Leonardo daVinci, a prolific creative genius, felt frustrated because he had a hard time finishing projects. Recently, researchers from King's College London and the University of Pavia in Italy concluded that his issues with time management, concentration and procrastination could be attributed to ADHD.
Want more peace and productivity?
1. Embrace your awareness.
It's a gift that not everyone has. Develop it. Be grateful for it. And make it work for you.
When your attention is turned on and tuned, your creativity is fluid and effortless. You can connect your experiences and make discoveries that have been hiding in plain sight. You're able to transmute the ordinary into something spectacular. To everyone else, it seems like alchemy. To you, just another day.
Attuned Creativity is Inspired by Living
And it all starts with paying attention. To the big things, the little things, the annoying things, and things that make us feel good, too. Throw in a little curiosity and/or a need, and you could have the makings for creative gold. When you start noticing, you have the seeds for genius in your back pocket. When a need arises, you can train your brain to click into noticing mode.
A few examples of Attuned Creativity at work:
- Arthur Fry needed something to keep bookmarks in place in his hymnal as he sung in the choir. And remembered a low tack adhesive at work. Your Post-It Notes were born.
- George de Mestral noticed cockleburs on his dog and his pants while hunting. He was curious how they stayed attached and curious how this could be useful. Velcro!
- Pierre Omidyar realized classified ads weren't working to sell his fiancee's Pez dispensers. He wondered if the internet could be better. So he started Ebay to see what would happen.
- Steve Job noticed details and how humans interact with things. He transformed an entire industry of utilitarian technology with attention to good design. Enter Apple, the Iphone and Mac.
Reflection is the Alchemical Key for Attuned Creativity
Reflection transmutes your distractions into creative gold.
And it requires something you're already good at doing: noticing. Simply noticing a feeling or a challenge can give you the space to think about it objectively, with curiosity and wonder. It's easiest when you quiet your mind and gets better with practice.
You can create order out of chaos and transform distractions into building blocks for creativity. When you notice and then take a step back, you're able to see previously unseen connections and integrate disparate ideas into something new. Like magic.
With every small try you'll build new neural pathways for a more creative and a calmer you. Practice noticing things in your environment, how things make you feel, how something looks. Meditation is a great tool for training your brain to notice and reflect. Be sure to practice non-judgement with yourself. If you feel frustrated for not noticing enough, or are distracted, or overwhelmed — just take a small step back, maybe with a few deep breaths, and notice that feeling. That's it.
The more you practice, the easier it becomes. Even if you practice for just a few seconds, you're building new pathways for a calmer, more creative and happier you.
Are you an Attuned Creative? Discover your Creative Mode with this FREE assessment.
"Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn't really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That's because they were able to connect experiences they've had and synthesize new things." - Steve Jobs
What kinds of things grab your attention the most? What helps you to be productive and peaceful?